Improving Lab Testing At City Free Clinic in California

In Fairfield, California, a community clinic is making a big difference for those struggling to access healthcare. City Free Clinic, a partnership between City Church and Grassroots Healthcare Foundation (GHF), provides comprehensive and affordable outpatient care to under-resourced communities.

GHF is dedicated to offering full-spectrum primary care with a grassroots approach. They target patients who can’t afford traditional care or spend a disproportionate amount on healthcare, all while prioritizing a personalized and holistic experience.

Here’s where Heart to Heart International comes in. City Free Clinic was chosen as one of six recipients of our Point of Care, Enhancing Clinical Effectiveness grant program. This grant is a partnership between Heart to Heart International, BD, National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, and Henry Schein Cares, providing crucial point-of-care laboratory technology for the clinic.

What does this mean for patients? Faster diagnoses and treatment as the lab allows the clinic to perform a variety of tests, including those for:

  • Hemoglobin A1c (diabetes management)
  • Lipid Panel (heart health)
  • Hemoglobin (anemia)
  • Urinalysis (urinary tract infections)
  • HIV and Hepatitis C screening

Previously, these tests required sending samples to an external lab, causing delays in diagnosis and treatment. Now, with the onsite lab, patients can receive results and a treatment plan within a single visit. This streamlined approach improves patient care and reduces the stress of waiting for results.

But the impact doesn’t stop there. The grant also includes ongoing technical support, mentoring, and a year’s supply of testing reagents. This ensures the clinic can continue providing efficient and high-quality care.

The clinic’s new lab equipment proved its value right away. In the first month, the clinic cared for a refugee with a history of heart surgeries requiring warfarin monitoring. Thanks to the on-site lab, the clinic could perform an INR test (measuring blood clotting) to ensure the patient was receiving the proper anticoagulant therapy. The clinic staff also went the extra mile, assisting the patient with enrolling in Medicaid to help cover future healthcare needs.

By supporting clinics like this, Heart to Heart International and its partners are making a real difference in the lives of Fairfield residents.

Photos from laboratory equipment installation and training: